Michael J. Penney is a combat veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan. He served in the United States Marine Corps infantry with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines deploying twice to Ramadi, Iraq in 2005-2006 and 2007. Michael reenlisted during his second tour and transferred to Quantico to become a weapons instructor. He is certified as a combat marksmanship coach, trainer and instructor trainer. He’s a formal school instructor, school trained designated marksman, small arms weapons instructor and foreign weapons instructor. In 2011 Michael deployed on a third combat tour, this time with 1st battalion 5th Marines, leading a section of advisors through Kajaki & Sangin Afghanistan. Having served in two wars, over 8 years of service in the Corps, Michael was honorably discharged as a Sergeant.
Now he is an entrepreneur and public speaker.
Michael is Co-founder of Cigars and Sea Stories, a podcast devoted to sharing stories with veterans who are adding value to the world. In March of 2016 he presented at TEDxRaleigh, “What’s Your IED: How to Add Value During Life’s Explosive Situations”, combining military and personal experiences in an effort to bridge the lives of veterans and civilians. Michael is the creator of the “5 Paragraph Business Plan” – taking the military operations order format and applying it to business. Bringing military skills, knowledge, and experienced leadership to a non-military market.
Michael supports fellow veterans seeking the entrepreneurial lifestyle after leaving the military. He currently works as director of programs for Bunker Labs RDU, calling upon his military experience to assess, train, advise, and assist veterans in business creation, growth, and long term sustainability.
He is a proud father of four, married, and resides near Raleigh, North Carolina.